Eric S Brown
In 1986 Marvel Comics’ introduced their “New Universe”. These were a group of all new series that were supposed to be set in the present day, real world. Titles in in the New Universe included Star Brand, Justice, Kickers Inc, and more. One of the longest running but still massively underrated titles was D. P. 7 (aka Displaced Paranomrals 7). The series told the story of seven people who were suddenly granted paranormal abilities. Their lives are turned upside and they have become freaks to most of the world. Somehow they all end up at “The Clinic”, an organization supposedly devoted to helping people with strange gifts. The Clinic however is not what it seems. Those there want to use the seven for their own purposes. The seven escape and find themselves on the run from the Clinic’s superpowered minions and soldiers.
D.P. 7’s realistic feel, ensemble cast, and level of writing were all well ahead of their time. The team consisted of David Landers, a super strong man, Jeff Walters, who could run at a pace of one hundred and fifty miles per hour, Stephanie Harrington, a housewife and mother with the power to heal and hype of the powers of others, and Lenore Fenzl, a retired teacher who could paralyze or knockout others through a bizarre biolumminescene which forced her to keep all herself covered at all times. The rest of the team included a doctor that emited a “Negative Man” style entity from his body, an angry teenager named Scuzz with acid powers, and a dancer who could control the friction level of objects around her. Having such a large team, with many subplots, likely hurt D.P. 7 as series to a degree but for the more mature readers picking up the book at the beginning of story, these subplots only added extra layers of emotional depth. All in all, D. P. 7 was by far one of , if not, the best of the New Universe series. Its first nine issues were collected in trade paperback format and are more than worth giving a chance if you enjoy comics that are more than endless fight scenes.